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Elizabeth Ann Scarborough Nebula award-winning SF/F author. Her popular series include Godmother and Cleopatra. With McCaffrey she's collaborated on several series: Acorna, Petaybee, and the forthcoming Barque Cats.

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Old Mar 27 2009, 06:57 PM   #1
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Just to kick things off - if you haven't read The Healer's War by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (our eann here at MoM), then you have missed a very powerful novel indeed. It won the Nebula Award in 1989, and rightly so.

The plot is centred on a nurse in Vietnam during the war - I won't give away the plot, but it is a powerful and very moving book told by a master.

I was too young to know overmuch about Vietnam when it started, but as I grew up I had friends who lost relatives, and my brother had received his draft card just before Nixon got us out. For my whole generation, and the one before, the Vietnam War was a huge influence. Healer's War goes a little way to help those of us who were not there to understand what happened. Make no mistake, this is a powerful book, but of course there are lighter moments in this book, as you would expect, and it is not an apologia for the Vietnam War. It is brilliant fiction.

Healer's War is a splendid book, very much a one-off and I consider it a master work. Read it. Really.
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Old Mar 27 2009, 10:01 PM   #2
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Thanks, Elizabeth
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Old Mar 27 2009, 10:43 PM   #3
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I remember the Viet Nam "era" very well. I have long avoided movies and TV shows framed around that situation because they always seemed to have political axes to grind. If this is the case with this one, I respectfully decline but if not, it could be something I'd like to read. So. Is it political?
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Old Mar 28 2009, 12:07 AM   #4
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I had an uncle who served as a medic in that war, both my dad and he served during that time. Dad got drafted, he didn't get sent there, my uncle I am not too sure, he is now gone.

He returned from there and became a nurse aide for a while, he also was a truck driver 18 wheels, he got hurt when I was in tech college and just before we moved north he passed away, its one subject I don't recall him talking about much. He and my dad where best friends, my mom's brother.
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Old Mar 28 2009, 07:46 AM   #5
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Sandi - try reading some of the comments on Amazon about Healer's War, that should give you an idea. Annie is too good a writer to dump politics all over a great story!

And thanks for sharing that, Ginny.
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Old Mar 29 2009, 01:35 AM   #6
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I know I started "Healer's War" once, but I honestly can't remember if I read the whole thing or not! I'll have to put it on my list!
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Old Mar 29 2009, 08:13 AM   #7
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I have it on my bookshelf to read. I have a lot of books on my bookshelf to read...but since this rec comes from such an illustrious person, I guess that one will be next after I'm done with Tepper's "Family Tree", or Diane Pharaoh Francis' "Path of Fate".

I just know I unpacked it already...moving bites.

Only reason I haven't read it yet is because I really don't like reading stories set in wartimes. Just not my thing...

(And my uncle was in the Vietnam war. Luckily, he was stationed first in Germany, then in Japan because he was in communications.)
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Old Mar 29 2009, 01:43 PM   #8
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I've just had a go at our library since the only books of Eann's they have are the collaboration ones.
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Old Mar 29 2009, 06:23 PM   #9
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I've just had a go at our library since the only books of Eann's they have are the collaboration ones.
I've only got the collaborations on my shelves so it'll be another thing to possibly look at.

I don't recall any of the rellies in the Vietnam war but my dad fought in WW2 - he died in 2000, a year before 9/11 which was good in some respects because he loved New York (it was where my sister was born) and I don't think he would have been very happy with the situation at the time.

This is a song about Vietnam from the Aussie perspective and sung by Redgum:

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/yt-Urt..._only_19_1983/
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Old Mar 29 2009, 07:28 PM   #10
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My dad died before 9/11 too--Groundhog's Day of 2001. I often wonder what he would have thought of many of the events of the last 8 years.
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Old Mar 30 2009, 12:15 AM   #11
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My dad died before 9/11 too--Groundhog's Day of 2001. I often wonder what he would have thought of many of the events of the last 8 years.
Sound like that song of Toby Keth 'Angry American" Which he wrote about how his dad who died just before that would have reacted he was a vet. too.
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Old Mar 30 2009, 03:08 AM   #12
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I listen to this song every now and again and think that the message in it, could apply to any son or daughter who went to war and thought to themselves, how come dad never told me it was going to be like this?

I did apply for the "armed forces" once but they knocked me back on the grounds that I wasn't emotionally or physically ready for them at the time (this was nearly 20 years ago) - I think I'll agree with them on that score with the age I was at the time, I applied. Now my interests lie elsewhere.
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Old Mar 30 2009, 07:52 PM   #13
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I think they were sorry they took me. ( I know I was) I turned out not to be the kind of leader the troops could follow to hell and back though I believe I may have been instructed to go there on my own from time to time.
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Old Mar 31 2009, 10:39 AM   #14
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Isn't that standard in the service? My dad was in the Navy and he got told to go there a LOT.
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Old Apr 1 2009, 02:39 AM   #15
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Who's doing the telling is the important bit, I believe.
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Old Apr 1 2009, 04:53 AM   #16
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To hear it from those above you is usual. Those below you aren't supposed to consign you audibly to the nether regions.
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Old Apr 1 2009, 05:00 AM   #17
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*chuckles* glad I didn't join if that's the case I think I'll stick to saying "good on ya!" to those who do join up but I guess it's like any workplace, just different scenarios at times.
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Old Apr 2 2009, 04:05 PM   #18
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My dad was a Navy doctor, with the bedside manner of a rotary sander. He got told to go to h**l by practically everybody.
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Old Apr 4 2009, 01:49 AM   #19
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Well a bit of an update for me. My uncle was all ready enlished in the Air Foce by then. He was sent to Vietnam around the same time as my dad got "drafted" into the army. I ask dad for he and my uncle were best friends.

I know that Dad's used the money he got to help pay for "trucking School" I think.
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Old Apr 4 2009, 03:39 PM   #20
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The point is to have a life after war.
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Old Apr 4 2009, 03:49 PM   #21
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... and to be able to enjoy it.
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Old Apr 6 2009, 07:57 PM   #22
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Yes, or at least not stay living inside the war after you are home in civvies.
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Old Apr 9 2009, 01:10 AM   #23
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My dad had some fun stories from that time.

My uncle well I don't real know. I know he used his some of earned when he retired to pay for schooling. I don't recall for what off the top of my head.

Toward the end of my uncle I think the memories where starting to bug him.
"Srug Shoulders" her. I miss him, my dad mom, and my own mom.
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Old Apr 11 2009, 02:53 PM   #24
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I'l have to read this. My father got out of the service just before we got into Vietnam. He also talked me out of going into the Service.
Vietnam was a mess. I remember the brother of a friend of mine came home so screwed up, it wasn't funny. He wouldn't use a sidewalk: walked down the middle of the road, arguing with himself in vietnamese.
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Old Apr 19 2009, 12:19 AM   #25
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He must have learned more Vietnamese than I did--I could only argue one side but most of what I learned were patients' expressions to tell us what they needed or how they felt--more than half of my patients most of the time were Vietnamese civilians who got caught in the crossfire.
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Old May 22 2010, 03:03 AM   #26
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I just got word from Nathan at e-Reads that the e-book of Healer's War is just now going out to the retailers and should be "on the shelf" (on their sites) in 2-4 weeks.
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Old May 22 2010, 06:26 PM   #27
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I just got word from Nathan at e-Reads that the e-book of Healer's War is just now going out to the retailers and should be "on the shelf" (on their sites) in 2-4 weeks.
Good to hear, eann I must be thinking of another book with kinda the same name
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Old May 24 2010, 05:05 AM   #28
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I don't like reading books about wartime either--and it really was difficult to write one. But I got a lot of my crazy out doing it, meaning it was pretty cathartic. My overwhelming emotion seems to be grief--just being so sad for the hopeless situation so many people found themselves in and had no control over at all. Right now I volunteer one day a week for the Disabled American Veterans as a service officer which is basically someone who actually offers to help other people do their tedious, maddening, stupid VA paperwork to apply for compensation (what the VA is supposed to pay for the military ruining all or part of your life). We also try to help vets get into the VA health care system and generally navigate the bureaucracy. I consider it holding the powers that be responsible for paying the full cost of one of the wars they are so thrilled to send other people to.
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Old May 25 2010, 05:29 AM   #29
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Drat you, Annie Scarborough, does this mean I'm going to have to crack and purchase an e-book reader?
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Old May 25 2010, 11:27 PM   #30
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I don't like reading books about wartime either--and it really was difficult to write one. But I got a lot of my crazy out doing it, meaning it was pretty cathartic. My overwhelming emotion seems to be grief--just being so sad for the hopeless situation so many people found themselves in and had no control over at all. Right now I volunteer one day a week for the Disabled American Veterans as a service officer which is basically someone who actually offers to help other people do their tedious, maddening, stupid VA paperwork to apply for compensation (what the VA is supposed to pay for the military ruining all or part of your life). We also try to help vets get into the VA health care system and generally navigate the bureaucracy. I consider it holding the powers that be responsible for paying the full cost of one of the wars they are so thrilled to send other people to.
Good for you Eann, Dad's a Disabled American Veterans, and another American Legion! I knew the word, not how spell it, till now. Listening to AMC Black Horses for a King.
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Old May 26 2010, 03:59 AM   #31
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I belong to VFW too but it's not active and I'm not active in it.
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Old Jul 9 2010, 11:22 PM   #32
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The Healer's War is now available on Kindle as an e-book as well as the other ebook formats. So I would assume anyone with access to Amazon.com can order it if they want.
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Old Jul 12 2010, 02:01 AM   #33
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The Healer's War is now available on Kindle as an e-book as well as the other ebook formats. So I would assume anyone with access to Amazon.com can order it if they want.
I might, right now a song, Lacy J. Dalton - Black Coffee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gHhn...aynext_from=ML

Its sting and yet helping me with writing's block, got translate into something else, but I'm chip away at it.
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Old Jul 12 2010, 11:17 PM   #34
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I read The Healer's War when it first came out and absolutely loved it. I hung on to my copy and will have to look it up for a reread.
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Old Jul 13 2010, 03:10 AM   #35
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Some people have asked, that's why I mentioned it.
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Old Jul 15 2010, 11:17 AM   #36
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Way to go eann!
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Old Jul 16 2010, 02:02 AM   #37
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Thanks, Elizabeth.
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Old Jul 16 2010, 05:19 AM   #38
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I've got an uncorrected proof copy!!!
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Old Jul 16 2010, 12:06 PM   #39
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Bragging is just so... unattractive, P'ter.
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Old Jul 16 2010, 11:49 PM   #40
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I think I do too, P'ter. Know what else I have uncorrected proof copies of? CATACOMBS!
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